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After 20 years, Fundación Tzedaká is Still Changing Lives.

Ruth Heymann's picture

For 21 years, Fundación Tzedaká, who won an award at the 2010 Latin America Development Marketplace, has been developing social programs and actions to improve the living conditions of citizens who live in poverty in Argentina. Based on a model that works in partnerships, and with a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach, they develop programs in areas such as health, education, housing, job training, food, seniors and children, taking family as the focal point of intervention. Transparency, efficient management of resources and consistent accountability are the organization’s pillars.

Some of their programs have been recognized for their contribution to society, as is the case of "Refuot", the largest Community Medicine Bank in the country and “Accion Joven”; a training program that helps young adults improve their development and employment performance and the program which won the LAC DM award. Over 750 young adults have been trained for different positions with a high opportunity rate in the job scenarios.

AVN Wins Dubai International Award for Best Practices!

Tony Kaye's picture

Association La Voute Nubienne (AVN) LogoAssociation La Voûte Nubienne (AVN) was awarded a DM grant in 2009 to test an innovative strategy for scaling up and accelerating the recruitment and training of Nubian Vault (NV) apprentices and the growth of a self-sustaining market in NV houses in Burkina Faso. The Nubian Vault is an ancient Egyptian technique of building vaulted roofs made from local bricks without using any wood, instead of typical tin roofs that are more expensive and use scarce wood during construction. AVN is transforming traditional housing available in the harsh climate of the Sahel region by providing a sustainable housing alternative and helping to avoid further deforestation.

AVN has won one of the Dubai International Award for Best Practice (DIABP) to Improve the Living Environment. The Award, co-sponsored by UN-Habitat, specifically recognised the program in Burkina Faso for 'best practice transfer'.

The DIABP was established under the directives of late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, during the United Nations International Conference in Dubai in November, 1995 with 914 participants from 95 countries, to recognize the best practices with positive impact on improving the living environment.

Cameroon: Working Together to Educate our Children

Victoire Ngounoue's picture

Though free basic education policy adopted by the government of Cameroon in 2000, many children remain out of school or dropout mid-way into their training program due to financial constraints.

While more than 90% of school-age children enrolled are in primary school in 2009, less than half completed education and the problem persist to date.

After a year into implementation, Goodness and Mercy Missions is sponsoring the education of 313 needy children in Belo community through its project entitled “Children Education through Women Empowerment”

Women’s Groups – Goodness and Mercy Missions

An innovative idea, surfaced at the 2011 Cameroon Development Marketplace competition, brought approximately 100 women together to embark on an income generating activity supporting the education of needy children in Belo community. These women sold 106 barrels of palm oil with a start-up budget of XAF 6,000,000 (US $12,000) and earned XAF 12,767,000 (US $25,534). With benefits made (XAF 3,881,000 - US $7762), women from the community are sponsoring the education of 313 needy children of Belo community for the academic year 2012/2013.

While it is assumed that the free education policy would stimulate greater demand for education at primary level, this is not always the case, especially for the girl child of poor family background living in rural areas. Financial constraints (such as PTA fees at primary level or tuition fees in secondary school, and high cost of textbooks, etc.) associated with education plague the success of this policy. Therefore, improving household’s income would have a great impact on enrollment rate in school especially for the girl child. How to do this remains a challenge.

'Tata Social Enterprise Challenge' to Support India's Best and Brightest

Kirsten Spainhower's picture

The Tata Group, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC),has launched the ‘Tata Social Enterprise Challenge’, a quest to find India’s most promising social enterprises. The goal of the challenge is to create an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and encourage sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact. Selected social entrepreneurs will be offered mentorship support, funding opportunities and an opportunity to be incubated at IIM Calcutta’s Incubation Centre

Teams who either have an early stage venture (not older than 3 years) or a promising idea with a plan that can create sustainable social impact can submit their business plans online by logging onto

Ennovent announces the winners of the WWF Switzerland Tropical Forest Challenge

Dougg Jimenez's picture

Ennovent logoEnnovent and WWF Switzerland announced the winners of their Tropical Forest Challenge this past Monday. The winners came from two categories: company and startup. Launched in May 2012, the WWF Switzerland Tropical Forest Challenge is a global initiative managed by Ennovent on behalf of WWF Switzerland to discover the best for-profit enterprises from around the world that have a positive impact on the conservation of tropical forest biodiversity.

The winners are endorsed by WWF Switzerland as best solution providers and are awarded global visibility, networking and capacity building opportunities from the challenge partners such as, Good Company, Sustainatopia and Thomson Reuters Foundations’. These Challenge rewards are important as many early-stage entrepreneurs face resource gaps – such as networks and training – that inhibit their ability to scale high potential ventures.

Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities & Challenges in MENA: Presentations from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine

Kirsten Spainhower's picture

In September 2012 and as part of its Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) series, the Development Marketplace (DM) team hosted a discussion entitled Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities & Challenges in MENA: Presentations from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine where we invited Synergos Social Innovators to share their experiences from the region.

Much like the kinds of social enterprises the DM hopes to support in Egypt, Synergos also supports social innovators in the region to fulfill unmet needs for the poor and marginalized. Synergos is a non-profit that mobilizes resources and bridges social and economic divides to reduce poverty and increase equity around the world.

The Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) program was launched in 2008 with leadership and funding from the US Agency for International Development. AWSI supports nearly 40 civil society leaders serving poor and marginalized communities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and the United Arab Emirates. Social innovators are pioneers of change in their communities and offer original approaches, methods, and solutions to address social and economic problems.

For more information on the event you can access the full report here.

Egypt DM launch and roadshow!

Ehaab Abdou's picture

After several months of planning and consultations with our partners, which started in May 2011, the Egypt Development Marketplace (DM) was launched on November 8, 2012. As part of the outreach strategy, the Egypt DM team organized a series of information sessions in four of Upper Egypt’s major cities; Asyut, Qena, Aswan and Minya. The sessions were co-organized and co-hosted with Egypt DM partners International Labor Organization, Social Fund for Development, Sawiris Foundation, and others. The sessions were attended by approximately 400 leaders from agricultural cooperatives, NGOs and small companies. In addition to the usual warm welcome and generous hospitality, typical of Egyptians, here are some reflections based on what we heard from the participants:

Found the technology..but do you have insights for its social adoption?

Parvathi Menon's picture
This research was done as a part of the Alchemix Blog Series: Dispatches from the Field

We are, therefore we invent. Technology represents one of the most fundamental applications of human intelligence. Given the gift of conscious thought, human beings are constantly striving to improve, enhance and evolve their lives. Defined as the application of scientific knowledge for specific purposes, technology is the engineered end result of the conscious human thought, harnessing the potential in nature for the purposes of our convenience. Little surprise then that it is at the crux of some of mankind’s greatest achievements through time, providing solutions to many challenges, whether it is the need to land a rover on Mars, light a bulb over a surgeon’s operating table or deliver clean drinking water to massively populated urban centers.

Yet, as we achieve complex technology accomplishments, more than a billion people continue to be disenfranchised, with no direct access to economy, science or development. The critical need is for innovators and entrepreneurs who can work with existing technology and build new ideas from them, to create a range of inexpensive, accessible and effective solutions that can be adopted at large scale. In this edition of Dispatches from the Field, we looked at the work of a host of entrepreneurs who are working at the grass roots, applying technology in ways that directly impact local under served communities.

كيف يمكن للتمويل الأصغر المساهمة فى التنمية الشاملة بالمنطقة؟

Ehaab Abdou's picture

This is the Arabic version of this blog: "How can microfinance support inclusive growth in MENA?" Ranya Abdel-Baki

حتى الأسابيع القليلة الماضية شغلت رانيا عبد الباقي منصب المدير التنفيذي لـ شبكة سنابل ، وهي شبكة التمويل الأصغر للبلدان العربية. بناءا على تجربتها فى قيادة سنابل على مدى السنوات العديدة الماضية، تحدثت رانيا إلى مشروع سوق التنمية الخاص بالبنك الدولي حول حالة التمويل الأصغر في المنطقة. كما تشرح فى هذا الحديث أيضا لماذا يعتبر الكثيرين مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر من ضمن النماذج التنموية القليلة التى تتميز بالقدرة على تحقيق الاستدامة المالية في المنطقة والعالم.

جيل ريتشموند: هل يمكن أن نتحدث عن تأثيرات الربيع العربي على مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر في المنطقة، إن وجدت، وتأثيره المباشر على عملائك؟

رانيا عبد الباقي: عقدنا ورشة عمل ناجحة في نوفمبر الماضي حيث اجتمع الممارسون من تونس ومصر واليمن وسوريا وتبادلوا تجاربهم والدروس المستفادة والتحديات المستقبلية. وبطبيعة الحال، آثار الأزمة تختلف من بلد إلى آخر، وأيضا داخل كل بلد، تتباين الآثار في بعض الأحيان بين مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر استنادا إلى مواقعها الجغرافية (ولا سيما فيما يتعلق بمصر).

لقد توصلنا إلى بعض الاكتشافات المثيرة للاهتمام على أساس ورشة العمل التي عقدناها.  وبالرغم من اعتقاد البعض أن مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر تركز فقط على استمراريتها، لكنها فى واقع الأمر فى كثير من الأحيان تضع احتياجات عملائها قبل احتياجاتها المؤسسية.  لقد شاهدنا
إندا في تونس، على سبيل المثال، تقدم الدعم ليس فقط لعملائها، بل أيضا للاجئين من ليبيا.  وفي مصر، قامت مؤسسة التمويل الأصغر بتنظيم معارض للعملاء خلال الثورة لمساعدتهم في تسويق وبيع منتجاتهم خلال هذه الأوقات العصيبة. واستمر برنامج أبين وهو من مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر الأكثر تضررا في اليمن في تقديم القروض وجمعها حتى في ظل الظروف التي أجبرت معظم الموظفين والعملاء على الفرار من محافظة أبين.

How can microfinance support inclusive growth in MENA?

Jill Richmond's picture

النسخة العربية من المقالة متوفرة على هذا الرابط.

Ranya Abdel-BakiRanya Abdel-Baki is the former Executive Director of Sanabel, The Microfinance Network of Arab countries. Ranya spoke with the World Bank Development Marketplace about the state of the Microfinance sector and Microfinance Institutions (MFI) in the region. Based on her several years leading Sanabel, she also explains why MFIs have been seen by many as the only sustainable and financially viable inclusive business or social enterprise1 model in the region.

Jill Richmond: Can you talk about the impacts of Arab Spring on MFI’s in the region, if any, and its direct impact (both sustaining and non-sustaining) on your clients?

Ranya Abdel-Baki: We ran a successful workshop last November where practitioners from Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria gathered and shared their experiences, lessons learned and future challenges. Naturally, the crisis impacts vary from country to country, and also within each country impacts sometimes varied amongst MFIs depending on their geographical locations (especially the case for Egypt).

While we have not yet completed the data collection for December 2011, we believe that total outreach for the region is going to stagnate or drop for 2011. From the workshop we made some interesting discoveries. You would think that MFIs would only be focused on institutional survival, but they have been putting their clients’ needs ahead of their own. We've seen Enda in Tunisia, for example, providing support - not only to its own clients but also to refugees from neighboring Libya. In Egypt, the First Microfinance Foundation (FMF) organized exhibitions for clients during the revolution to help them market and sell their products during these difficult times. Abyan Program, one of the hardest hit MFIs in Yemen, continued disbursements and collections even under circumstances that have forced most of the staff and clients to flee Abyan Governorate.

Jill Richmond: In many interviews you talk extensively about the importance of contingency plans. What other lessons can be taken from the experience of MFIs during the Arab Spring?